“‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’” Luke 22:42
These words of Jesus, so familiar to His followers down through the ages, reveal one of the most private glimpses we’ve ever had into the life of our Savior. As He wrestled in prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before His crucifixion, the raw pain He experienced nearly pulsates from the pages of scripture.
In the verses that follow this plea but ultimate surrender of our Lord, we are told that He was in anguish and began praying even more earnestly, with his sweat becoming like drops of blood falling to the ground. The thought of the task—the sacrifice—that lay before Him was almost more than He could bear. But bear it He would if that was His Father’s will.
What an example of prayer and surrender Jesus set for us while He agonized in the Garden. He poured out His heart to His Father, and asked to be spared the impending suffering. We, too, can pour out our hearts’ desires to our Father in heaven. He longs for that kind of intimacy with us. He wants us to be completely honest, to talk with Him about everything that concerns us. He wants us to pour out our hearts to Him.
However, Jesus’ example in this prayer didn’t stop with pouring out His heart’s desire. He then surrendered that desire into His Father’s hands. He said, “. . . not my will, but yours be done.” Jesus displayed for us the ultimate act of trust. Asking but surrendering. Are we ready to follow His example?
What cup in your life, in my life, is almost more than we can bear? Let’s unashamedly take it to our Father and ask Him to spare us from it. But then—in complete surrender—let’s say, “Father, not my will but yours be done.” Let’s live out the ultimate act of trust.
Let’s follow our Savior’s lead once more. Let’s ask—but surrender.
“Offer right sacrifices and trust in the LORD.” Psalm 4:5
*Flickr photo by F.C. Photography